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Familiar roads pose hazards for drivers

Louisiana state law requires passenger vehicle occupants age 13 and over to fasten their seat belts at all times, and the results of studies conducted by road safety advocacy groups and government watchdogs suggest that drivers in the Pelican State would be wise to obey this law. Experts say that motorists who want to reduce their chances of being involved in an accident and wish to avoid serious injuries should remain alert and fasten their seat belts, and this advice may be particularly useful when they are taking short trips on familiar roads.

The human brain processes dizzying amounts of information and constantly prioritizes tasks according to their importance. Most motorists have realized with a start that they do not recall driving the last few miles, and this happens most often when the trip being taken is routine. In these situations, the brain sometimes delegates the driving duties to the subconscious mind, but this leaves motorists unprepared for unexpected emergencies such as a piece of debris in the roadway or a running child or animal.

Studies also reveal that quiet roads can be just as dangerous as major highways. According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, rural roads were the site of almost 3,000 more fatal accidents than highways and interstates in 2013. Drivers should also avoid the roads during the late afternoon hours as the risks of crashing are generally highest during the rush hour drive home.

Experienced personal injury attorneys will likely urge their clients to fasten their seat belts before every trip. Not only can buckling up save lives, but it could also prevent damages being reduced in car accident lawsuits. Arguments of comparative negligence are common in these cases, but attorneys may overcome them by using medical evidence to establish that their clients would have been harmed if they had been properly restrained.

Source: The Governors Highway Safety Association, “Louisiana”, accessed on Sept. 20, 2017

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